FIRST OFF, I wanted to thank all of you for reaching out to help Champ yesterday – the stallion who saved the filly from the river. Many of you jumped to email, call and write. Thank you! (If you missed that post, here it is.)
I’m sorry for all of you who put yourselves out there and may have felt jilted when you received a rebuttal notice from the Forest Service. Please note that the Forest Service is denying knowing anything about this – all of us who called or wrote to lend our support were given the same form letter from the Forest Service… Yet the people who guard over the herd are strongly standing by their initial press release. So, we will see how this plays out and what happens next.
Please remember, if you do call/email/write on this or any issue, please try to be firm but gracious. Ugly comments don’t help… I know that when one is angry, passion rises. But, just try to be as level-headed as possible. After all, no one can argue with logic but everyone argues with crazy. So, just a word of caution regarding this campaign and all campaigns for the horses. We walk a delicate line here and we need to ‘walk softly but carry a big stick’ as much as possible.
FATHER GUIDO SARDUCCI JUST CAME AND TOLD ME THAT MY HORSES WERE FAT.
Here’s the story.
You see, I have a new farrier – again. Yup. Since my farrier of 7 years moved away, I’ve had a hard time finding a new one. I keep dating them but so far, none have stuck.
Last week, my newest recommended farrier showed up.
I was excited about this farrier because my friend who recommended him told me that not only was he a good trimmer and good to the horses, but he was Italian – from Italy!
Well, since my father was an Italian from Italy, I have a soft spot for my countrymen once removed…
So, with anticipation, I awaited for his truck to rumble up the driveway.
Little did I know that the vehicle was carrying a dead ringer for Father Guido Sarducci! (Do you remember him from SNL fame?)
I didn’t hear his truck come up the driveway. Neither did the dogs. No one heard him arrive – yet, he was there.
In front of the barn was a shiny, white (like an angel) farrier vehicle.
I grabbed my coat and ran down to greet him.
Would he be Sicilian like my relatives? Would he be Northern Italian? Would he really be good with the horses? Would he know how to trim like I like them trimmed? My mind was racing as I skipped down the drive towards the barn.
I arrived at the driver’s side window just in time for him to be startled by my appearance.
He looked at me through his window and smiled. He looked very Italian. He stepped out of his truck.
Immediately I apologized for not hearing him and explain that with 3 dogs, not hearing someone arrive is generally never an issue…
He says: Isa no problum, no worries, I’ma fine-a ana isa all guud.
He stepped out of the truck and besides being a tad shorter than Father Guido Sarducci and maybe having a bit less hair, he had the exact, same voice. Exactly. Not only was his voice the same, but his cadence and pitch were identical. OMG. It was HIM.
Of course, my brain knew it wasn’t the actor who plays Father Guido Sarducci since that actor has to be in his 60s by now…
But, this guy was that exact character!
My Italian Catholic schoolgirl upbringing had me all a-twitter! This was so familiar and I felt warm and happy. I could feel my DNA snapcrackling and popping with ancient memories of tiramisu and semifreddo.
Him: OKa, who we gonna do-a furst? Whicha way? Over dat away or are wea gonna do dem right outa herea?
Me (trying not to giggle): We can do them in the pastures, if that is OK with you…
Him: Data be-a fine-a. You jusa tella me whicha waay to go-a.
Me (now stifling a need to ask him if he’s ever heard of Father Guido Sarducci): Follow me!
Him: Ohhh, disa here is a nice mares. She ees cutea. I luva mares. Day are da besst-a.
He had already won me over. He liked mares best.
I COULDN’T HELP MYSELF.
I just couldn’t help myself.
I had to ask him how in the world he ended up in Grass Valley. I hoped the answer would be long so I could enjoy his lovely accent some more
Him: Wella, eesa longa storya…
Me (just wanting to hear him talk more): I have time, go ahead, tell me the entire story. All of it. Every detail. Don’t hold back.
So he proceeded to tell me that his father was from Grass Valley but ended up in Italy where he met and married his Italian mother. When he and his twin brother (Yup, there are TWO of them!…) were 14 years old, the entire family moved back to Grass Valley.
The very odd part was that his older two sibling came back to the States earlier to live with his paternal grandparents when they were very young. So, his older siblings do not have an Italian accent. Only he and his twin have the accents in the family since his mother has passed.
Could you imagine? What if you and your brother were the only people in your entire family to have a foreign accent? That’s a whole other blog topic right there…
Anyway, Guido and his brother (who I haven’t met yet) are always mistaken for each other which they find hilarious or a real pain, depending upon the circumstances. That is what he told me.
AFTER AN HOUR OR SO…
After a while of grilling him, basically to hear his charming accent, it was time for him to ask me a few questions.
Him: So-a, howa deed your horses get so beeg-a?
Me: What do you mean, ‘big’?
Him: Wella, dey are soa beeeg. You know, dey are BEEG-A.
Me: You mean, fat?
Him: Uh huh. Day are beeg anda fat-a.
Me: Hmmm. I guess you are right… I hadn’t noticed, but you are right. They are all kinda fat.
Him: Wella, dat is so bada for dem. You dona wan any ofa dem to-a founder, do you-a?
Him: Wella, whaddya gunna do aboud it-a?
Me (scrambling for an excuse): The grass will be gone soon and they will recede back to normal size.
Him: Oh, day isa all fata becuza you haf so mucha grass righta nowa?
Me (trying to justify it in my head): Probably. They get this way every year.
Him: Okay den. When Ia come-a backa nexta tyme, dey are gonna be-a smaller?
Me: Uh huh.
Now he had me cornered!
I mean, it was true that they always plump up in Spring when the acreage here is full of grass. But, they were kinda fat. I just hadn’t noticed.
Him: So-a, you don feed dem any more dan whut dey eata in da fields, righta?
Me: Uhhhhhh. Kinda.
Him: Whaddya you meana – Kinda?
Me: Well, they look very hungry in the mornings and evenings when I feed them.
Him: Don feed dem any more! Day are fat-a ana you gonna have-a sum issues-a later. Woulda youa feed your keed (kid) jus because he is a sittin at da table with a forka in his handa and a lookin at chou hungry? A-no, you wuldn’t. So why you gonna feed your horses when day are-a fat?!
He shut me up.
He was right.
Me (getting defensive or something similar): Wrigley is skinny!
Him: Yup. Dasa one. You gotta one-a horse-a here who isn’ta fat-a. One, maybe two-a.
SEEING IT THROUGH DIFFERENT EYES.
I guess the moral of the story for me is that often, if you don’t step back and really look, you miss what is right in front of you.
I mean, how many times have we worn sweats for a week and totally not noticed how all those chips and bon-bons were effecting our bodies until we got back into our jeans again. Right? If it isn’t in your face, you might not see it.
I wasn’t seeing how fat my horses were getting because I looked at them every day. Or, more accurately, I didn’t want to see what was happening because I love to feed them and make them shiny and healthy – yet, this was too much.
I didn’t see it until my farrier, in the angelic form of Father Guido Sarducci, landed on my property embodying his ‘easy for me to take’ style, warned me that my horses were headed for trouble.
Truly, I was feeding them just because they were in their ‘feeding positions’ with pitiful eyes at exactly the same time every day.
Did they need food? No.
Have they been eating all day? Yes.
Did I need to feed them any more? No.
So why was I feeding them? Because I like to feed them.
Yup. Thereinlies the problem.
MY ANGEL IN AN SNL SUIT
So on this day, my farrier was my angel, sent from the horsegods, to teach me a lesson in the only way I could hear it.
–With an Italian accent delivered by a SNL doppelganger.
I learned a bit about myself… and about Roberto (that is his real name).
And, since the trims were good, I think I’ll keep him.
Especially because when Rojo wouldn’t let Roberto trim his back feet, Father Guido erupted again –
“So, when-a you gonna worka with dis guy to get him readdy for me for-a next time-a, eh? You needa do sum work-a with dis one for me, eh? Yessa, you do.”
Right, again. Dang it!
HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth… if you like this, please pass it around!
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
You are a killin’ meee here’ahhhh!
OMG – I just snorted my evening tea out of my nose. You are’a killin’ meee here’ah!
HAHAHAHAHA! I just LOVED this! I’m the vintage to well-remember Father Guido and I can just hear his voice in my head. I would have been stifling laughter the second the guy got out of his truck. You HAVE to say something to him next time he’s out – he must have been told that before! Glad he did a decent job trimming the feet, too.
Couldn’t you have told him that they have “glandular problems”? or the mares were in menopause? Sheesh, talk about being put on the spot!
OMG! I laughed so hard through this entire blog post. I always loved Father Guido on Sat. Night Live way back when! I’m a professional writer and I have read comedy books and scripts that weren’t as well done as this blog post. I think my horse will want to share it on his blog (you’ve heard of Mr. Ed, I’m sure… he may have had a lot to say, but he didn’t have a blog lol)
My horse in off grass right now because he is insulin resistant and cresty. I am fighting to avoid founder. He also has navicular so I need to be VERY careful with his feet and his weight. I use a tape to weigh him weekly; Some-ting you-a might-a wanna try to keep-a da horses from geeting a-big-ah!
Hartford Horses Examiner
Don’t-a feel-a bad-ah. I think as Moms, we look at our horsey kids with rose colored glasses. One summer our pasture was the lushest it had ever been. We let our 4 horses graze to their hearts’ content. They were happy. We were happy.
Then one day, my husband said to me, “The horses are getting fat.” WHAT? No, they aren’t. They are all filling out, I replied.
Summer went on. I was taking pictures of my horses and when I looked at the photos on the screen, they all looked plump. Oh, no, I told myself. Could my husband have been right? I took their pictures at the wrong angle. It was all an optical illusion. Doesn’t the camera add ten pounds or in the case of horses, 50 or 100 pounds? Yes, that’s it!
Then we needed to get the vet out for a minor problem. The vet tech got out of the truck and exclaimed, “Is that a gelding? He looks like a mare who is 9 months pregnant!” HUH? He’s not fat, he’s coming into his own, filling out, becoming a big strong young gelding.
Next to comment was the vet who agreed that my darling boy was indeed fat. I got a stern lecture on the metabolic and muscular skeletal problems caused by obesity. He finished by saying that he did not want one ounce of grain entering their mouths. They were on hay only from now on.
So I bought hay pellets so they think they are getting grain! It took about 6 months to get all of them back to a normal weight. I learned to take off those rose colored glasses and to stop fooling myself.